Reading, some say is boring, some really do love it and can’t do without it, others just loathe it.
It’s no longer news that AAUA is resuming academic activities, and exams are fast approaching. Now is the time when many students study and use the reading technique called “cramming”.
You will hear students say they want to study hard, burn the night candle, read for long hours and devour every single page they lay their hands on. Most times it ends up being a hassle.
But why should you study hard, why should you engage in long excruciating hours of boring and complex reading. Why can’t you turn the table and do it joyfully. Instead of seeing it as a burden why don’t you see it as a blessing, and carry out studying happily and effectively.
Indeed at a time like this and in a country like ours it’s a privilege not just to be a student but to be alive.
And you know they say with life comes great possibilities, and with it comes great responsibilities so why carry out your responsibilities as a student in the boring, old fashioned way of studying hard, why not do it happily, who knows the level of cognition you’ll reach.
I’m sure you asked how, but here is a caveat, this article is not a magic pill nor a spell you would cast and it would solve your reading anxiety. Merely skimming through it shows you are a genius and genius ask questions to receive answers, because “reasons reap results”
But the main theme of this piece and what it addresses is that of happily carrying out your studying as a student, not because of the rush hour exams coming up but as a means of broadening your horizon so as to see studying in a new light, because learning never ends.
So let’s get to the little advice to make your reading and study time more efficient
YOUR WILL POWER IS YOUR TRUE STRENGTH
The main concern of many students now is where they want to start from, which course to read first, what topic they’ll study first and before long confusion sets in.
It’s of a truth that academic activities in the country had been on hold for ten months due to the Corona virus pandemic as well as the ASUU strike, to be sincere many of us have lost our reading boots, and you’ve only got one week to figure it out. What do you do?
But here is the thing, your willpower is something you never loose, it’s your inner strength that creates a mental resolve to help carry out any task ahead of you.
What does this mean? remember that time you tried completing a task even though you didn’t feel like doing it! that time you decided to wash the plates, clean your room, or do any other assignment.
Well you could say your parents instructed you to do it, or not doing it could have attracted a punishment. But it was you who did it, such that when you completed the task you were suprised to see the result. You wished it and you made it happen because your willpower was activated.
Remember the saying “where there is a will, there is a way“. Trust yourself to do it and you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish by simply putting your mind to it.
I heard someone say “you can only chain my body but you can never chain my warrior spirit” your willpower is your warrior spirit. To study effectively you shouldn’t chain your warrior spirit.
Consciously set your mind on studying, because whatever we set our minds on is what we pursue. As a student let your willpower to study be born out of a feeling of pleasantness and bliss. You don’t need to struggle with reading just because you’re offering many courses.
Remember you’re not alone in this, many others have passed through this same system you call rigid and have gone through to become better for themselves and the society, so why not be a person that takes studying as an exercise and not war.
Walt Witman said “Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won”. Battles are won and lost from the mind, so set your mind to pursue reading with happiness and you will win.
You might not really appreciate this but remember you scaled through 2020, surely the year would long be in the minds of people as we’ll want to share stories to the unborn generation about how tough the year was but because we had the grace and a strong will to survive we made it through.
But before you share your superhero story with your grandchildren, why not channel that will power to your studies first. Returning students should return with vigour, freshers should start afresh by laying a solid foundation.
MAINTAINING FOCUS ON YOUR READING
Your will-power alone doesn’t make you do a task enjoyably, you might be exerting a lot of will to carry out a task but you need to be focused and totally aware for you to enjoy your action.
Growing up many of us have been told by teachers and parents to focus on our study, we were told to focus but we were not taught how to focus. Did anyone ever sit you down to explain in details how to focus and what it meant to focus?
Distractions are everywhere, and in our generation distraction just got bigger. From texting messages to replying chats, video games, YouTube and the likes, the internet has brought much distraction as it brought attraction.
Sometimes you’d be reading a book and you find out you got carried away, you read a page for an hour and still got nothing out of it. You could say your mind is using you instead of you using it, but here is the thing, you have the power to control your mind from drifting away.
Whenever you set your mind on reading, make sure you cut distractions to a minimum. Before reading make sure your mind is at peace. You can’t expect to comprehend what you read if your mind is constantly drifting into what had gone wrong today or yesterday, remember you need to be in a happy mood before you embark on reading.
If you are planning to read through your phone, you could switch off your internet connection for the time you plan to study, you could look for a quiet place to read as this helps to reflect on what you read without having to take in much noise into your head.
One thing to note is that you’ll never be free from distraction, as long as you’re in a society and you have a mind it will want to drift and think of many other things but a useful technique is to create awareness.
Awareness means when your mind starts drifting, you bring it back, the moment you noticed your are not focused on your present task, you call yourself back into it.
This might sound unclear, what it means is that you see your awareness as a light bulb, whenever this light is shining on a task you will be focused and flowing with it but when your mind switches off this bulb and turns its direction into another thing, you step in and turn the light back on what you are doing presently.
By so doing whenever your mind drifts away from reading, you bring your awareness back to the task at hand. It could be tedious at first but “practice makes progress”, no one is perfect.
Asking questions when reading helps fix your mind on it. Whenever you are reading be open to asking question based on whatever it is you are reading, and because your mind is processing the question your awareness is heightened.
PLAN YOUR TIME
Growing up as students, the majority of us were taught to read and study through rote learning. By doing this we repeat words till they are drilled into our heads.
Time planning is very essential when it comes to effective studying. Before reading, set out a time frame, pick out the topics you want to treat, and fix them into a schedule.
The reason you need to know beforehand the topics and course you want to study during your study session is because it helps manage your time, you won’t get to read and start to wonder which course or topic you should start with.
Many believe that when you study for long hours you retain information, but which would you prefer; to study for 8hours in one day or study 1hour every day for a week.
Spaced repetition helps set your mind on what you read, and it’s an important technique that enables retention. That is why time planning is essential
There is a study technique called the “Pomodoro technique” it means you study for let’s say 25minutes and have a 5minute break before you come back and study for another 25minutes.
You could as well figure out what works best for you as long as you find it enjoyable, less stressful, and allows better retention of informations.
Time is more than money, it’s a gift given to each individual equally but the proper management of it allows productivity.
One important thing to note when planning your time is to follow it up, there is no use to a study time table you draft without you following through with it.
TAKE A STEP
There is a saying that “You do not judge a fish to be useless because of it’s inability to climb a tree”. You only work best and at optimal level in your comfort zone, remember a fish can’t climb neither can a monkey breathe under water.
As AAUA resumes it is important for every student to be proactive and take study matters into their own hands. Find what works best for you and use it to help yourself focus more, do more with study times and get better.
The little resources you can lay your hands on use it to a maximum level, be willing to exert your willpower on studying, focus more and cut distraction to a minimum, above all plan your time.
Do not forget to believe in yourself and approach reading in a much happier state of mind, you will be amazed the changes this small simple steps could make in your studies.